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‘Challenging’ means test process receives $85m remedy

Money, cash, million dollars

Acknowledging that a 28-page form can be “challenging”, the Turnbull government has pledged to simplify access to aged care and streamline means testing.

The federal government will put $85 million towards simplifying the means testing and My Aged Care systems. Additionally, work has begun on an aged care provider comparison system on My Aged Care, with a price tag of $8.8 million.

“The current 28-page form can be challenging, so we plan to have major simplifications in place by May next year,” Human Services Minister Michael Keenan said.

“Led by the Department of Human Services, the taskforce will include representation from consumer groups, aged care providers, financial advisers and relevant government agencies.”

He said the simplification would be led by a taskforce, which would focus on a new means test form for those entering aged care and make recommendations on how the means testing process could be made more efficient, including for people with complex financial situations.

Together with Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt, Mr Keenan said cutting red tape would help “hundreds of thousands” of senior Australians and their families each year.

Mr Wyatt also announced a $61.7 million revamp of the My Aged Care portal was set to begin.

“My Aged Care is a vital tool for older Australians and their families and carers, with more than 3.5 million website visits per year and over 1 million phone calls,” he said.

“It must be as easy to use as possible, providing people with the right information in a people-friendly format, during what are often challenging times.”

The upgrade will feature an enhanced service finder, more self-service options, a referrals system for health professionals and a “client journey dashboard”.

“This will allow doctors and specialists to send referrals to My Aged Care directly from their clinical information systems, and to track the progress of their clients through My Aged Care,” Mr Wyatt continued.

“Aged care access will also be streamlined, with $14.8 million to develop a new integrated assessment system for older Australians.”

‘Challenging’ means test process receives $85m remedy
Money, cash, million dollars
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